Professor Liz Bacon announced as next Principal of Abertay University

Professor Liz Bacon is to be appointed the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University in Dundee.

Currently Abertay’s Deputy Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bacon joined the University in September 2018 and has led the University’s activities in the areas of partnerships, teaching and learning, and research and knowledge exchange, while also pioneering a new Digital Strategy.

An international researcher in computer science, Professor Bacon is a worldwide speaker on a range of topics, including preparing staff and students for the fourth industrial revolution’s impact on teaching, learning and work, and improving diversity and participation in STEM, particularly among women and people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Working closely with politicians, professional bodies and many other organisations, she has also driven forward the agenda to address the global shortage of skills in the IT industry, resulting in a range of high-profile reports.

Throughout her career, she has worked to improve quality and standards in higher education, including a focus on degree accreditation standards in computer science both in the UK and internationally.

Professor Bacon is a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist and a Chartered IT Professional.

She is also the current President of The European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education; a former President of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT; a Past Chair of both the BCS Academy of Computing and the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing national committee; and a Trustee of Bletchley Park Trust.

During her time at Abertay she has led on transforming the student experience, resulting in high National Student Survey scores and the ‘UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality’ award from the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

Professor Bacon will take up the role of Principal on May 1st, succeeding current Principal Professor Nigel Seaton, who last year announced he would be leaving after a decade at the helm, making him one of Scotland’s longest-serving Vice-Chancellors.

Chair of Abertay University Court, Murray Shaw, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce Professor Bacon as the incoming Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

“Liz has had a transformative impact on Abertay during her time here and the selection panel felt her prior experience, leadership qualities and expertise across the sector made her an excellent choice to lead the University through the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

“My sincere thanks goes to all of the students, academics and professional services staff who took the time to contribute to the recruitment process, and, of course, a special note of thanks to Professor Seaton for his vision and leadership throughout his 10-year tenure at Abertay.”

Professor Bacon said: “Abertay is a university with a very clear social mission, a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and innovation, and core values which closely reflect those of its local community.

“It’s been a hugely satisfying experience to work alongside our students, staff and stakeholders in my time at the University so far, and I’m delighted to now have the opportunity to further develop our shared vision for success, both in the UK and overseas, in the years that lie ahead.”